Election 2014: Islands Trust candidates oppose Gabriola bridge

NANAIMO – While the province will examine the potential of a fixed link to Gabriola, Islands Trust candidates are against a bridge.

While the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will be examining the potential of a fixed link to Gabriola Island, area Islands Trust candidates are against a bridge.

The ministry announced a feasibility study in September, after receiving a petition from the Gabriola Island Bridge Society with close to 700 signees, but prospective trustees aren’t in favour.

Candidate Heather Nicholas is concerned that an infrastructure project of that size would not serve the interests of a population the size of Gabriola Island. Land use planning and regulation are among the items under the trust’s jurisdiction.

“The plans have been available for many years on the provincial government’s website and I think it’s a very real concern that were a bridge to be built to ostensibly serve Gabriola, that in fact, it would be part of a much larger agenda, whereby a ferry terminal would be created at the south end or at the Whalebone area of Gabriola, which would then allow for a shorter run for the big ferry and would essentially turn Gabriola and Mudge into a highway for all of the traffic between mid Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

“So I think that the bridge question as it stands now is a bit of a Pandora’s Box, in that I am very concerned that, were bridge proponents to get what they were seeking, that it would be a lot more than they had bargained for,” said Nicholas.

Candidate Peter Phillips is also anti-bridge, stating it would change the cultural identity of Gabriola and irreparably devastate the culture of Mudge Island.

“Like all infrastructure, there is some value but overall, the damage that the bridge would do to island life, the cost is too high, the price is too high, and I don’t mean in monetary returns,” Phillips said. “I mean in terms of ecology.”

Candidate Chris Bowers said she worries about the environmental impact of a bridge. Additionally, there are a number of policy documents stating there should be no bridge.

“Three Islands Trust [official community plans], one that’s a trust policy statement, another one that’s the official community plan for Gabriola and official community plan for Mudge, speak against having bridges and I believe that a bridge will do damage to the culture, environment and economy of the island,” she said.

Candidate Melanie Mamoser had not responded by press time. Gulf Islands residents vote for Islands Trust represenatives on Saturday (Nov. 15).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Commute in Nanaimo slowed as SUV goes up onto highway barrier, gets stuck

Accident happened at 5 p.m. on old Island Highway and Highland Boulevard

Seven years later, Nanaimo’s animal trapping bylaw still isn’t approved

Animal trapping bylaw requires provincial approval before it can be adopted

Juno-nominated Nanaimo teen Lauren Spencer-Smith to appear on ‘American Idol’

Singer up for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for ‘Unplugged, Vol. 1’

Nanaimo Clippers goalie chosen his team’s MVP

Jordan Naylor and teammates honoured at hockey club’s year-end award banquet

New minister leading services at St. Andrew’s in Nanaimo

Rev. Greg Darjes returned this month to the church in the Old City Quarter after 18 years elsewhere

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read